“Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe Imagine your favorite TV show, and think about the characters. Which character is your favorite? Most of us would say it is the main character, the one that is the most relatable. That character is called the protagonist, and it is often the one that we identify with the most. In contrast to the protagonist, a character we think about less often is the foil character. This character is the complete opposite of the main character. Usually, a foil goes through the same events as the main character however he will see things differently and have a different opinion. The purpose of this character is to shed light on the main character, and to show how things could work out differently…show more content… He had no patience with unsuccessful men. He had no patience with his father (3, 4).” This vastly different contrast between Okonkwo and his father really shows how impressive Okonkwo’s success is. He was able to overcome the stigma of his lazy father, and became one of the most successful men in the village. Even from the one single line, that Okonkwo did not have patience for anyone who was not successful, and no patience for his father, we can see that Okonkwo is nothing like his father. Unoka’s lazy characteristics are used to emphasize Okonkwo’s desire throughout the book to be a hard worker, and to be successful.
Ikemfuna, a boy sent to live with Okonkwo and his family, is not a foil for Okonkwo, but for Nwoye. If it were not for Ikemefuna, we would not be able to see Nwoye’s connection to his grandfather, Unoka. As Okonkwo’s oldest son, Nwoye is expected to be strong, and hardworking like his father. But when Ikemefuna joins the family, he becomes like the son Okonkwo never had. Ikemefuna and Okonkwo form a bond, a bond that Nwoye and Okonkwo were never able to have, and Ikemefuna even begins to call Okonkwo “father.” On the other hand, Okonkwo considers Nwoye to be weak and lazy because even though “Nwoye knew it was right to be